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Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages

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ESk Eystdr 1II

Kari Ellen Gade (ed.) 2009, ‘Einarr Skúlason, Eysteinsdrápa 1’ in Kari Ellen Gade (ed.), Poetry from the Kings’ Sagas 2: From c. 1035 to c. 1300. Skaldic Poetry of the Scandinavian Middle Ages 2. Turnhout: Brepols, pp. 559-60.

Einarr SkúlasonEysteinsdrápa

text and translation

Vôru sogns með sára
syni Maddaðar staddir
mágrenni (fekksk) manna
(máttigr) tigir átta.
Þrimr skútum tók þreytir
þann jarl drasils hranna;
hraustr gaf hræskúfs nistir
hǫfuð sitt frǫmum jǫfri.

Átta tigir manna vôru staddir með {{{sogns sára} má}grenni}, {syni Maddaðar}; máttigr fekksk. Þrimr skútum tók {þreytir {drasils hranna}} þann jarl; {hraustr nistir {hræskúfs}} gaf frǫmum jǫfri hǫfuð sitt.
‘Eighty men were stationed with the feeder of the seagull of the fjord of wounds [(lit. ‘seagull-feeder of the fjord of wounds’) BLOOD > RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR], Maddaðr’s son [= Haraldr]; the mighty one was captured. With three ships the tester of the steed of waves [SHIP > SEAFARER] seized that jarl; the bold feeder of the carrion-skua [RAVEN/EAGLE > WARRIOR] surrendered his head to the outstanding prince.

notes and context

On his expedition to England, Eysteinn first landed in Caithness, Scotland. He heard that Jarl Haraldr Maddaðarson of Orkney was in Thurso and set out with three small ships to capture him. Eysteinn and his men came upon Haraldr unawares, and, although Haraldr had a superior force (thirty ships and eighty men), he was unable to muster any resistance.

For Eysteinn’s campaign, see Run sts 3-9 above. The campaign took place c. 1151, while Jarl Rǫgnvaldr Kali Kolsson (Rv) was away on his crusade to the Holy Land. Haraldr Maddaðarson was jarl of Orkney from 1139 until his death in 1206. For his genealogy, see ÍF 34, Genealogy IV. — [1-4]: This helmingr is garbled and difficult to reconstruct.



Text is based on reconstruction from the base text and variant apparatus and may contain alternative spellings and other normalisations not visible in the manuscript text. Transcriptions may not have been checked and should not be cited.

editions and texts

Skj: Einarr Skúlason, 8. Eysteinsdrápa 1: AI, 475, BI, 447, Skald I, 220, NN §955; ÍF 28, 327-8 (Hsona ch. 20), F 1871, 339, E 1916, 198; Fms 7, 235 (Hsona ch. 20); Mork 1867, 225, Mork 1928-32, 443, Andersson and Gade 2000, 391, 494-5 (Hsona).


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